What I’m Watching Wednesday: The Little Couple

My blog was accidentally deactivated yesterday, but things seem to be working now ūüôā

In other news, I am obsessed with The Little Couple. I want to be their best friend and visit their gorgeous house. They just exude this infectious positivity. They recently adopted a son from China and he is just the cutest kid ever. Look at that smile! I’m smitten.

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One Step at a Time

I think I’ve become a runner.

I say that tentatively since this is all very new to me.

In the past, I’ve taken up running sporadically. ¬†I’ve scheduled time at the gym, focused more on whatever was on TV than what I was doing on the treadmill. ¬†I set a goal to run a 5K, but training was torture. ¬†I was proud of myself for completing it, but I never experienced that runner’s high that everyone talks about. ¬†It was just something to cross off of my life list.

I’ve mentioned before that moving has thrown me for a loop. ¬†I’ve been in Vancouver for two months and while I’m definitely feeling more comfortable and able to appreciate a lot of what this city has to offer, I still feel off balance. ¬†I don’t have all of the familiar things that made me feel grounded.

Running has become that stabilizing force for me. ¬†The first afternoon I set out on a run, I didn’t really know where I was going. ¬†I decided I’d run a few blocks and then just keep going and see how far I could get. ¬†I ended up at the beach, looking across the water at the downtown skyline, wild rabbits hopping across the grassy knoll behind me. ¬†My muscles were burning and I was out of breath, but I felt surprisingly calm. ¬†The anxious feeling that had taken up residence in my chest was gone and I felt like I could see things with a bit more clarity. ¬†It was exactly the release that I needed.

I feel like I’ve been chasing that moment ever since. ¬†I still face a lot of uncertainty, but once I lace up my shoes and head out on the road I can forget everything and just be in the moment. ¬†Concentrating on each breath, each step, each pump of my arms keeps me firmly grounded in the present. ¬†It stabilizes me in a way that I’ve really needed. ¬†In those moments, I am completely in control.

I don’t have any aspirations to run a marathon or break my 5K time. ¬†I don’t really have any goals at all when it comes to running. ¬†All I know is that I’ve come to depend on the way it makes me feel and I like knowing that no matter how my day is going there is something I can do to quiet all the noise in my head. ¬†I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

Friday Favorite: Abandoned Amusement Parks

Friday Favorite: Abandoned Amusement Parks

I don’t know where my fascination with abandoned amusement parks comes from, but I’m totally captivated by them. As I comb through images, I’m often struck by the contrast between the sensory overload these places provided in their heyday and the eerie stillness they embody in decay. It all feels very post-apocalyptic, like I’m an anthropologist from the future uncovering secrets about a society long since departed. Atlas Obscura’s “Essential Guide” is a recent discovery of mine and a great introduction into this world of forgotten amusements. Click on this picture of the devilish ride at Spreepark in Berlin to get started.

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Some infinities are bigger than other infinities

Full disclosure: I’m a huge John Green fan. ¬†His first novel, Looking for Alaska, is one of my favorite books of all time. ¬†So he can pretty much do no wrong in my opinion. ¬†I do, however, have some pretty high expectations when I read his work.

That being said, The Fault in Our Stars not only met my expectations but exceeded them tenfold.

Here is the plot summary from Goodreads:

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Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumors in her lungs… for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault. 

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

I know at first glance a story about teens with cancer sounds terribly maudlin and depressing, but this one is so far from that. ¬†Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely those moments and I didn’t get through this book without a few tears (ok, maybe more than a few). ¬†But there is humor that offsets the darkness. ¬†The characters aren’t just “Cancer Kids.” ¬†They’re incredibly complex in a way that you don’t usually see in books from this genre.

I’ve heard some critics say that the characters aren’t believable because they launch into these long, beautiful soliloquies about life and death that actual teens could never come up with on their own. ¬†I suppose that would bother me if I expected everything I read to be an accurate portrayal of real life, but I’m not one of those readers. ¬†This book is just so beautifully written that I can forgive those sorts of inconsistencies. ¬†John Green is so good at creating these little golden nuggets of sentences that you want to keep in your pocket and carry with you, like this one:

Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book. And then there are books . . . which you can’t tell people about, books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like betrayal

Or maybe that’s just me.

Either way, I loved the writing and the characters. ¬†While the dialogue may come across as inauthentic to some, Green’s exploration of illness, death, and loss feels extremely truthful. ¬†Rather than putting a Lifetime movie spin on things and tying up all loose ends in a neat, palatable package), he leaves the reader with more questions than answers. ¬†We don’t know what the future holds for Hazel, but we’re definitely left with a lot to think about. ¬†This is ¬†a story that sticks with you in the best way possible.

What I’m Watching Wednesday: Rebel Wilson

Bridesmaids is one of my favorite movies of all time. I love everything about it (the engagement party toast scene slays me), but Rebel Wilson is like the icing on the cake. She’s HILARIOUS and steals every scene. I think J is kind of sick of the number of times I’ve re-enacted them, but I can’t stop myself. This video is missing one of the best lines ever (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QE4ZH8oh3lM), but it’s got pretty much everything else.

What to Wear? Napa Valley Wedding

My friend is getting married next month in gorgeous Napa Valley. ¬†This means I get to take another trip to California (yay!) and also that I need a new dress for the occasion. ¬†I’ve been scouring the Internet for pretty frocks and I definitely know that I want something in a print. ¬†There are just so many fun options! ¬†But which to choose? ¬†Here are a few of my favorites:

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1. J. Crew Arabelle Dress in Hummingbird Floral Print  2. J. Crew Frances Dress in Watercolor Floral  3. Ruche Le Peintre Printed Dress  4. Anthropologie Rose Bramble Sundress  5. Anthropologie Elizabeth Zebra Dress  6. Ruche Mikayla Floral Dress

I’m kind of obsessed with the zebra print, but I love the colorful floral prints, too. ¬†Any suggestions?